PLAYER'S RESPONSIBILITIES: RULES
Wrong Form of Play Used in Match-Play Event
Q.In a foursome match-play competition, four players begin their match on a four-ball match-play basis. The error is discovered after play of the 9th hole. What is the ruling?
A.It would be improper to decide any match by a form of play other than the prescribed form.
If the wrong form of play is used as a result of a Committee error, the match should be replayed. If the wrong form of play is used unintentionally by players, the match should be replayed; if, however, this would delay the competition, both sides should be disqualified unless one side concedes the match to the other – see Rules 2-4 and 6-1. If the wrong form of play is used intentionally by players, they should be disqualified – Rule 1-3.
• 1-3/7 Agreement That Side Losing After 18 Holes of 36-Hole Match Will Concede Match.
• 2-4/21 Wrong Form of Play Used to Decide Which Side Concedes Match.
• 33-1/4 Match Decided by Wrong Form of Play by Agreement of Players.
Meaning of "Handicap"
Q.Under a handicapping system where the player has to adjust his handicap in accordance with the rating for the course he is playing, a player's handicap before adjustment is 4.8. After applying the appropriate adjustment for the course and the tees to be used for that competition, the player's handicap is 6. Which is his "handicap" for the purposes of Rule 6-2?
A.6. In a stroke-play competition the player must ensure that the handicap for the course that he is to play and the tees to be used is recorded on his score card when it is returned to the Committee.
• 6-2b/0.5 Meaning of "Handicap" When Full Handicap Not Used.
HANDICAP IN MATCH PLAY
Failure to Determine Handicaps Prior to Start of Match
There is no penalty if players fail to determine one another's handicaps before starting a match. If this results in one of them not receiving a handicap stroke at a hole at which he is entitled to receive one, the hole stands as played.
Handicap Stroke Given at Incorrect Hole in Error
Q.In a match between A and B, under the Handicap Stroke Table A was to receive a handicap stroke at the 9th hole. However, both A and B mistakenly believed that A should receive a handicap stroke at the 7th hole, and the match was played on this basis. Subsequently, the Committee became aware of the error. What should the Committee do?
A.The Committee should take no action. Since the players did not agree to deviate from the Handicap Stroke Table and did so by mistake, there was no breach of Rule 1-3. The match should stand as played. See Note under Rule 6-2.
Handicap Stroke Wrongly Claimed at Hole; Error Discovered Before Hole Completed
Q.In match play, on the tee of a hole A states in error that he is to receive a handicap stroke at that hole. When A is preparing to putt, his opponent, B, recalls that A does not receive a handicap stroke. B so advises A and claims the hole on the ground that A gave wrong information. What is the ruling?
A.The hole should have been completed without a stroke being given to A, and with no penalty to either side. A did not give wrong information. It is up to each player to know the holes at which handicap strokes are to be given or received – see Note under Rule 6-2.
• 2-5/13 Extra Stroke Taken by Mistake in Handicap Match (error discovered several holes later); Status of Late Claim.
Handicap Stroke Claimed After Hole Conceded
Q.In a handicap match, A holed out in 3. B, having a putt for a gross 4 and forgetting that he was entitled to a handicap stroke at the hole, conceded the hole to A. Before A or B played from the next teeing ground, B remembered that he had a handicap stroke at the last hole. What is the ruling?
A.A won the hole when B conceded it (Rule 2-4). It was B's responsibility to know the holes at which he received handicap strokes – see Note under Rule 6-2. Since B forgot about his handicap stroke, he must suffer the consequences.
Wrong Handicap Used in Match by Mistake; Error Discovered After Result Officially Announced
Q.In a handicap match between A and B, A stated by mistake before the match began that his handicap was ten strokes, whereas in fact his handicap was nine strokes. The match was played on the basis that A's handicap was ten strokes. A won the match. The error was discovered after the result had been officially announced. What is the ruling?
A.The match stands as played. No claim by B could be considered unless A had known he was giving wrong information about his handicap – see Rules 2-5, 6-2a and 34-1a.
Wrong Handicap Allowance Used in Match
Q.In a handicap match-play competition, the conditions provide that, where handicaps were different, the full difference would be used. In one match, however, the players, unaware of this condition, used ¾ of the difference, and the lower handicapped player won. How should the Committee rule?
A.The Committee should rule that the match stands as played. The players failed to take note of the conditions of the competition (Rule 6-1) and have only themselves to blame.
Decisions related to 6-2a/5 and 6-2a/6:
• 30-3a/3 Determination of Handicap Allowances in Four-Ball Match If One Player Unable to Compete.
• 33-1/12 Wrong Handicap Used Due to Committee Misinformation.
HANDICAP IN STROKE PLAY
Meaning of "Handicap" When Full Handicap Not Used
Q.It is the condition of a stroke-play competition (e.g., four-ball) that players will not receive their full handicap allowances. Under Rule 6-2b, what is the player responsible for recording on his score card?
A.He must record his full handicap. It is the Committee's responsibility to apply the condition of competition to adjust his handicap.
• 6-2/1 Meaning of "Handicap."
Wrong Handicap Used in Stroke Play by Mistake; Error Discovered After Competition Closed
Q.In a stroke-play competition, A believed that his handicap was ten strokes, which he recorded on his score card. In fact his handicap was nine strokes. He won the event because of the error. The result of the competition was announced and the error was then discovered. What is the ruling?
A.The competition should stand as played. Under Rule 34-1b, a penalty under Rule 6-2b may not be imposed after a handicap stroke-play competition has closed unless the competitor has knowingly played off a handicap higher than that to which he was entitled.
Wrong Handicap Knowingly Used in Stroke Play; Error Discovered After Competition Closed
Q.In late June, A submitted an entry form for a handicap stroke-play competition to be held on July 10 and stated therein that his handicap was seven strokes, which was his correct handicap. On July 1, A's handicap was reduced to six strokes and he was aware of the reduction.
On July 10, he played in the stroke-play competition and returned his score card with a handicap of seven strokes recorded thereon, and this affected the number of strokes received. Under the conditions for the event he should have recorded his up-to-date handicap of six strokes. After the competition was closed, it was discovered that A had played off seven, instead of six.
The Committee questioned A, and A stated either that he knew he should have played off his up-to-date handicap or that he was uncertain at the time. What should the Committee do?
A.In either case, he is deemed to have knowingly played off a higher handicap than that to which he was entitled and is disqualified under Rule 34-1b, Exception (ii).
Had A believed players were required to use their handicaps at the time of entry, there would have been no penalty as the competition had closed (Rule 34-1b).
Competitor Records Incorrect Handicap for Partner in Foursome Stroke-Play Competition; Error Discovered After Competition Closed
Q.A and B were partners in a foursome stroke-play competition. At the conclusion of the round, A recorded on the score card that his handicap was eight strokes, but mistakenly and without B's knowledge, recorded B's handicap as ten strokes, whereas B knew that his handicap was nine. The mistake affected the number of strokes received by the side, but was not discovered until after the competition had closed. What is the ruling?
A.The side should be disqualified for returning a score card on which B's recorded handicap was higher than that to which he was entitled and this affected the number of strokes received (Rule 6-2b). Since B knew that his handicap was nine, the fact that the competition had closed makes no difference – see Rule 34-1b(ii).
Competitor Wins Competition with Handicap Which Was Incorrect Due to Committee Error; Error Discovered Several Days Later
Q.The Committee incorrectly calculated a competitor's handicap and posted it on the notice board as 17 when it should have been 16. The competitor won an 18-hole stroke-play event as a result of the error. May the Committee correct the error several days later and retract the prize?
A.Yes. There is no time limit on correcting such an error. Rule 34-1b is not applicable since it deals with penalties, not with Committee errors.
The competitor should not be disqualified but his net score should be increased by one stroke.
• 33-5/2 Wrong Handicap Applied by Committee Results in Player Not Receiving Prize.
• 34-1b/6 Winner's Score Not Posted Due to Committee Error.
Wrong Handicap Recorded on Score Card by Committee; Error Discovered Before Competition Closed
Q.In a stroke-play competition, the Committee issues the score cards containing the competitor's handicap in addition to his name and the date.
The Committee mistakenly records a competitor's handicap as seven instead of six and this affects the number of strokes received. The error remains unnoticed until after the card is returned, but before the competition has closed. What is the ruling?
A.The competitor should be disqualified under Rule 6-2b. It is the responsibility of the competitor to ensure that his correct handicap is recorded on his score card before it is returned to the Committee.
Competitors in Foursome Competition Fail to Record Individual Handicaps on Score Card
Q.In a foursome stroke-play competition, partners A and B correctly calculated their combined handicap allowance and recorded it on their score card, rather than their individual handicaps. A and B were disqualified. Was the ruling correct?
A.Yes. In any round of a handicap stroke-play competition, it is the responsibility of the competitor to ensure that his handicap is recorded on his score card before it is returned to the Committee (Rule 6-2b).
The word "competitor" includes his partner in a stroke-play foursome competition – see Definition of "Competitor." Therefore, A and B were required to record their individual handicaps on the score card. As only the combined handicap allowance was recorded, A and B were correctly disqualified. (Revised)
Competition in Which Best Two of Four Scores Used to Determine Winner; Competitor Returns Score Card with Higher Handicap
Q.A handicap competition is based on the best two of four scores. In the first round, a competitor returns his score card with a handicap higher than that to which he is entitled and it affects the number of strokes received. What is the ruling?
A.The competitor is disqualified only from the first round of the competition and now has three rounds in which to determine his best two net scores.
• 33/8 Application of Disqualification Penalty in Competition in Which Not All Scores Used to Determine Winner.
TIME OF STARTING
Postponement of Final Match Due to Injury of Player
If a player who reaches the final of a match-play event suffers an injury and is unable to play at the time arranged, the Committee may, with the concurrence of the opponent, postpone the match for a reasonable period. This applies in all forms of match play.
• 6-8a/3 Discontinuing Play Due to Physical Problem.
Exceptional Circumstances Which Warrant Waiving of Penalty Under Rule 6-3a
Q.The Exception to Rule 6-3a states that if the Committee determines that exceptional circumstances have prevented a player from starting on time, there is no penalty. With reference to the following examples, what circumstances are considered exceptional such that there would be no penalty if the player failed to start at the time established:
- The player gets lost on the way to the course.
- Heavy traffic results in the journey to the course taking longer than expected.
- A major accident results in the journey to the course taking longer than expected.
- The player's car breaks down on the way to the course.
- The player was present at the scene of an accident and provided medical assistance or was required to give a statement as a witness and otherwise would not have failed to start on time.
A.There is no hard-and-fast Rule. The proper action depends on the circumstances in each case and must be left to the determination of the Committee.
Generally, only example 5 constitutes an exceptional circumstance under the Exception to Rule 6-3a.
It is the player's responsibility to ensure that he allows enough time to reach the course and he must make allowances for possible delays.
Time of Starting; All Competitors Must Be Present
Q.In a stroke-play competition, A, B and C were drawn by the Committee to play together starting at 9 am. A and B were present at the appointed time. C arrived at 9:02 am after A and B had played from the teeing ground, but just in time to play in the correct order.
What is the ruling?
A.As C arrived and was ready to play within five minutes after his starting time, he incurred a penalty of two strokes for failure to start at the time established by the Committee (Rule 6-3a). If C had arrived more than five minutes after his starting time, the penalty would be disqualification. In either case if the Committee determines that exceptional circumstances had prevented C from starting on time, there is no penalty.
All competitors in a group must be present and ready to play at the time established by the Committee, in this case 9:00 am. The order of play is not relevant.
• 6-8b/9 Resumption of Play; When Players Must Be Present.
Meaning of "Time of Starting"
Q.A player's starting time is listed on the official starting sheet as 9:00 am. He does not arrive at the 1st tee until 9:00:45 am and claims that, as it is still 9:00 am, he is not late for his starting time. What is the ruling?
A.When a starting time is listed as 9:00 am, the starting time is deemed to be 9:00 am and the player is subject to penalty under Rule 6-3a if he is not present and ready to play at 9:00:00 am Therefore, the player incurred a penalty of two strokes in stroke play or loss of the first hole in match play unless the Committee determines that exceptional circumstances had prevented him from starting on time (Exception to Rule 6-3).
Time of Starting; Both Players in Match are Late
Q.In a match-play competition, A and B were to start their match at 9 am. A arrives at the 1st tee at 9:01 am, but before B, who arrives at 9:03 am. What is the ruling?
A.If neither player had experienced exceptional circumstances that prevented him from starting on time, each player would incur a penalty of loss of the 1st hole. Therefore, in equity (Rule 1-4), the 1st hole is deemed halved and the match would commence on the 2nd hole.
Time of Starting; Player is Late but Group Unable to Play Due To Delay
Q.A player is assigned by the Committee to a group with a 9:00 am starting time. He arrives at the 1st tee at 9:06 am but for whatever reason (e.g., weather, slow play or a ruling) the starting time has been delayed until after he arrives. What is the ruling?
A.As the group was unable to start at the time originally established by the Committee and the player arrived before it could do so, the player is not in breach of Rule 6-3a.
• 33-3/2 Player Not Present at Time of Starting; Course Closed at the Time.
Players Start Early
Q.In stroke play, A, B and C were scheduled to start at 9:00 am. All players were present at the 1st tee at 8:56 am. Without being given authority to do so by the Committee, A started at 8:58 am, B started at 8:59 am and C started at 9:00 am. What is the ruling?
A.Unless the Committee considers that the players have started early as a result of an error by the Committee or its representative, A and B are subject to a penalty of disqualification for failing to start at the scheduled time (see penalty statement under Rule 6-3a). However, in view of the fact that starting within five minutes after the time of starting results in a penalty of two strokes in stroke play under Rule 6-3a, the penalty for starting early, but within five minutes of the starting time, should be the same. Therefore, under Rule 33-7, the Committee should modify the disqualification penalty to two strokes, unless there is good reason not to do so, e.g., the players ignored a direct instruction from the Committee not to start before 9:00 am.
C incurs no penalty as he did start at 9:00 am, which was the time established by the Committee.
• 6-8b/6 Play Suspended by Committee; Competitor Does Not Resume Play at Time Ordered by Committee.
Other Decisions related to Rule 6-3a: See "Time of Starting" in the Index.
Meaning of "Specific Directions" in Definition of "Caddie"
Q.A and B are sharing a caddie. A asks the caddie to bring him a club. The caddie removes A's club from his bag, places both bags behind the green and walks towards A to give him his club. At that point B plays and his ball strikes one of the bags. What is the ruling?
A.B incurred a penalty stroke under Rule 19-2 (Ball in Motion Deflected or Stopped by Player's Equipment).
The Definition of "Caddie" (second paragraph) provides that, when a caddie is shared by more than one player, the equipment he carries is deemed to belong to the player whose ball is involved in any incident (in this case, B).
The only exception to the above provision occurs when the shared caddie is acting upon the specific directions of another player (or the partner of another player) sharing the caddie. In this case, although A asked the caddie to bring him a club, he did not instruct the caddie, when complying with his request, to place the two bags in a particular position. In placing the bags where he did, therefore, the caddie was not acting on "specific directions" of A within the meaning of that term in the Definition of "Caddie." Before playing, B could have asked the caddie to move the bags if he thought his ball might strike them.
• 19-2/8 Player's Ball Strikes Opponent's or Fellow-Competitor's Bag Left Ahead By Shared Caddie.
Status of Individual Who Transports Player's Clubs on Motorized Golf Cart or Trolley
Q.During a round, a player's clubs are transported on a motorized golf cart or trolley by a friend who performs no other functions of a caddie. Is the friend considered to be the player's caddie?
A.Yes. By driving the cart or pulling the trolley the friend is deemed to be carrying the player's clubs – see Definition of "Caddie."
• 19/2 Status of Person in Shared Golf Cart.
• 33-1/9.5 Breach of Transportation Condition by Caddie.
• 33-8/4 Local Rule for Events in Which Motorized Golf Carts Permitted.
Player Whose Clubs Are Transported on Motorized Golf Cart Hires Individual to Perform All Other Functions of a Caddie
Q.A player whose clubs are transported on a motorized golf cart hires an individual to perform all the other duties of a caddie. Is this permissible, and is the individual considered to be a caddie?
A.The individual is considered to be a caddie.
This arrangement is permissible provided the player has not engaged someone else to drive the cart. In such a case, the cart driver, since he is transporting the player's clubs, is also a caddie. Rule 6-4 prohibits a player from having two caddies at any one time.
Thus, the arrangement is permissible (a) if the player and an opponent or a fellow-competitor are sharing the cart, even if the player walks and the opponent or fellow-competitor drives the cart, or (b) if the cart is not being shared with an opponent or a fellow-competitor and the player drives the cart.
Caddie Hires Boy to Carry All of Player's Clubs Except Putter
Q.A player's caddie hires a young boy to carry all of the player's clubs except his putter, which the caddie carries. The caddie assists the player in other ways, i.e., attends the flagstick and gives advice. The young boy does not so assist. Is this permissible?
A.No. The player would be considered to have two caddies in contravention of Rule 6-4.
Another Caddie or Friend Carries Clubs While Player's Caddie Returns to Tee with Player's Glove
Q.A player walks from the putting green of the previous hole to the next tee with his driver while his caddie walks ahead with the clubs in order to save time. The caddie realizes he has his player's glove and gives the clubs to another player's caddie or friend to be carried while he takes the player his glove.
Did the player have two caddies in breach of Rule 6-4?
A.No. The casual act of someone assisting the player or his caddie in these circumstances does not constitute a breach of Rule 6-4.
Umbrella Carrier Employed in Addition to Caddie
Q.May a player employ both a caddie and a second person to carry his umbrella and hold it over his head (except when a stroke is being made) to protect him from the sun or rain?
A.Yes. The second person would be an outside agency. However, the Committee may prohibit the employment of an umbrella carrier in the conditions of the competition.
Status of Additional Persons and Items Carried by Such Persons for Player
Q.May a player have a caddie carry his clubs and also have additional persons carry items other than clubs (e.g., a rainsuit, umbrella, food and drink) for the player?
A.Yes. The additional persons would be outside agencies, and any items carried by them would also be considered outside agencies while in their possession. However, the Committee may prohibit the use of such persons in the conditions of the competition.
Application of Penalty When Player Has Multiple Caddies
Q.A player completes play of the 1st hole using two caddies. While proceeding to the 2nd tee he is advised of his breach of Rule 6-4. What is the ruling?
A.The player is penalized at both the 1st and 2nd holes. Since he did not correct his error prior to holing out at the 1st hole, he was also in breach of Rule 6-4 between the play of the 1st and 2nd holes, which results in a penalty at the 2nd hole. The player must immediately correct his breach and ensure that he has no more than one caddie at any one time for the remainder of the stipulated round.
In match play, the state of the match is adjusted by deducting two holes at the conclusion of the 2nd hole.
In stroke play, the player incurs a penalty of two strokes at both the 1st and 2nd holes, for a total penalty of four strokes.
Status of Carts Pulled by Double Caddie
Q.A and B are sharing a caddie who is pulling A's bag on one cart and B's on another. A makes a stroke and his ball strikes B's cart. With reference to the Definition of "Caddie," since B's cart was not being carried by the caddie, would it be considered B's equipment?
A.No. The cart is considered A's equipment in these circumstances. The word "carrying" in the Definition should not be taken so literally as to exclude the pulling of a cart by a caddie.
Changing Caddies During Round
Q.May a player have more than one caddie during a round? If so, may each caddie give the player advice?
A.A player may have more than one caddie during a round, provided he has only one at a time. He is entitled to receive advice from whoever is his caddie at the time – see Definition of "Caddie."
• 8-1/26 Player Briefly Changes Caddies for Exchange of Advice.
Player in Competition Caddies for Another Player in Same Event
Q.Two players playing in the same competition at different times on the same day caddie for each other. Is this permissible?
Competitor Withdraws During Round and Carries Fellow-Competitor's Clubs for Remainder of Round
Q.In stroke play, A, B's fellow-competitor and marker, withdrew during a round and ceased to play. He continued to mark B's card, and also carried B's clubs for the rest of the round. Is this permissible?
A.Yes. A became B's caddie as well as his marker when he started carrying B's clubs.
Acts Which Caddie May Perform
While the Rules do not expressly so state, the following are examples of acts which the caddie may perform for the player without the player's authority:
- Search for the player's ball as provided in Rule 12-1.
- Place the player's clubs in a hazard – Exception 1 under Rule 13-4.
- Repair old hole plugs and ball marks – Rule 16-1a(vi) and 16-1c.
- Remove loose impediments on the line of putt or elsewhere – Rules 16-1a and 23-1.
- Mark the position of a ball, without lifting it – Rule 20-1.
- Clean the player's ball – Rule 21.
- Remove movable obstructions – Rule 24-1.
Other Decisions related to Rule 6-4: See "Caddie" in the Index.
Lone Competitor Appoints Own Marker
Q.In a stroke-play competition, a lone competitor had no marker. No member of the Committee was present to appoint one. So the competitor played with two players playing a friendly game, and one of them served as his marker. Should the Committee accept the card?
A.Yes. Since the Committee failed to provide a marker, the Committee should give retrospective authority to the player who acted as the competitor's marker.
• 33-1/5 Competitor in Stroke-Play Event Plays with Two Players Engaged in Match.
Competitor Plays Several Holes Without Marker
Q.A plays three holes by himself while his marker, B, rests. B then resumes play and marks A's scores for the holes he (A) played alone as well as his scores for the remainder of the holes. Should A's card be accepted?
A.No. A should have insisted on B accompanying him or have discontinued play and reported to the Committee. Since A was not accompanied by a marker for three holes, he did not have an acceptable score.
Hole Scores Entered in Wrong Boxes; Marker Corrects Error by Altering Hole Numbers on Card
Q.In stroke play, a marker recorded some of the competitor's hole scores in the wrong boxes. He altered the hole numbers on the card to correct the error. Should the card be accepted?
• 6-6d/3 Hole Scores for First Nine Holes Recorded in Boxes for Second Nine and Vice Versa.
Marker Refuses to Sign Competitor's Card After Dispute Resolved in Favor of Competitor
Q.In stroke play, B, who was A's fellow-competitor and marker, refused to sign A's score card on the grounds that A had played outside the teeing ground at the 15th hole. A claimed that he played from within the teeing ground.
The Committee decided in favor of A. Despite the Committee's decision, B continued to refuse to sign A's card. Should B be penalized?
A.No. A marker is not obliged to sign a card he believes to be incorrect, notwithstanding the determination of the Committee. However, the marker must report the facts and authenticate those scores which he considers correct.
The Committee should accept certification of A's score at the 15th hole by anyone else who witnessed the play of the hole. If no witness is available, the Committee should accept A's score without certification.
• 6-6d/5 Spectators Allege Competitor's Score Incorrect.
• 34-3/4 Dispute as to Whether Competitor Played from Outside Teeing Ground.
• 34-3/9 Resolution of Questions of Fact; Referee and Committee Responsibility.
Marker Attests Wrong Score Knowingly But Competitor Unaware Score Wrong
Q.In stroke play, a competitor returned a wrong score because his score card did not include a penalty he had incurred. The competitor was unaware that he had incurred the penalty. The competitor's marker (a fellow-competitor) was aware of the penalty but nevertheless signed the card. The facts were discovered before the result of the competition was officially announced.
The competitor is, of course, disqualified (Rule 6-6d). Is the marker also subject to disqualification?
A.Yes. The Committee should disqualify the marker under Rule 33-7.
• 1-3/6 Marker Attests Wrong Score Knowingly and Competitor Aware Score Wrong.
• 33-7/9 Competitor Who Knows Player Has Breached Rules Does Not Inform Player or Committee in Timely Manner.
Requirement That Alteration on Score Card Be Initialled
Q.May a Committee require that alterations made on score cards be initialled?
A.No. Nothing is laid down in the Rules of Golf as to how alterations should be made on a score card.
• 6-6b/8 Requirement That Score Be Entered into Computer.
• 33-1/7 Making Competitors Responsible for Adding Scores.
Different Score Card Returned
Q.At the end of a round in stroke play, a competitor returns to the Committee a score card different from the one issued by the Committee at the start of the round (e.g., because the original score card was lost or illegible due to wet weather). The new score card contained the competitor's name and scores and was signed by both him and his marker. Should the score card be accepted?
Other Decisions related to Rule 6-6a: See "Scores and Score Cards" in the Index.
SIGNING AND RETURNING SCORE CARD
Competitor and Marker Sign Score Card in Wrong Places
There is no penalty if a marker signs the competitor's score card in the space provided for the competitor's signature, and the competitor then signs in the space provided for the marker's signature.
Signing Score Card Other Than in Space Provided and Use of Initials
Q.Rule 6-6b requires a competitor to sign the score card himself and ensure that his marker has signed the score card. May a competitor or marker sign the competitor's score card in a place other than the space provided, and may initials be used in place of a signature?
A.In each case yes, provided it is clear from all the evidence that the competitor and marker are doing so for the purpose of verifying the competitor's scores for all of the holes.
Marks or initials on the score card that were placed for any other purpose (e.g., to verify an alteration) do not meet the requirements of Rule 6-6b. (Revised)
Competitor Fails to Sign First-Round Card; Error Discovered on Completion of Last Round
Q.In a 36-hole stroke-play event, it was discovered just before the results were announced that a competitor had omitted to sign his score card at the end of the first round. In all other respects the cards for both rounds were correct. Should he be disqualified?
A.Yes, because he was in breach of Rule 6-6b.
• 33-7/3 Competitor's Failure to Countersign Card Blamed on Lack of Time Provided by Committee.
• 34-1b/2 Competitor's Failure to Sign Score Card Discovered After Competition Closed.
Score Cards Not Returned Promptly Due to Committee Failure to Advise Competitors Where to Return Cards
It is a duty of the Committee to inform competitors where and to whom to return their score cards. If the Committee fails to do so, and as a result some competitors delay in returning cards, a penalty of disqualification under Rule 6-6b or any other Rule would not be justified.
Marker Not Appointed by Committee Signs Cards
Q.In stroke play, A and B were appointed by the Committee as markers for one another. During the round, C joined them as a spectator; from that point, C marked the cards of both A and B, signed them at the end of the round and returned them to A and B. A and B checked their respective cards, signed them and returned them to the Committee. Before the competition closed, the Committee became aware that A had not signed B's card and vice versa. What is the ruling?
A.Since C had not been appointed as a marker by the Committee and there were no exceptional circumstances, A and B should be disqualified under Rule 6-6b.
Marker Disappears with Competitor's Score Card
Q.In a stroke-play event, a competitor's marker leaves the course at the end of the round and takes the competitor's score card with him. What should the Committee do?
A.The Committee should make every reasonable effort to contact the marker. If unsuccessful, the Committee should accept verification of the scores for each hole by someone else who witnessed the round (e.g., the marker's caddie or the competitor's caddie) or, if no one else is available, by the competitor himself. Normally, a competitor who does not have proper verification of his score card is disqualified. However, in this exceptional case where actions beyond the competitor's control resulted in the return of his score card without his marker's signature, there is no penalty. (Revised)
Score Corrected by Competitor After Marker Leaves Area in Which Card Returned
Q.A marker signed a competitor's score card, gave it to the competitor and left the area. The competitor discovered an error in his score for the 14th hole; the marker had recorded a 5 when, in fact, the competitor had scored 4. Without consulting the Committee, the competitor corrected the card, signed it and handed it in to the Committee. Later, the Committee heard what had happened, interviewed the competitor and his marker and established that the competitor did, in fact, score 4 at the 14th hole. Was the competitor in breach of Rule 6-6b and thus disqualified?
A.Yes. When the competitor altered the score card, he invalidated the attestation of his score by the marker. Therefore, he effectively returned a score card which was not signed by the marker.
If the competitor had informed the Committee, before returning his card, that he was correcting the error, he would not have been subject to penalty.
Requirement That Score Be Entered into Computer
Q.May a Committee, as a condition of competition, provide that a competitor must enter his score into a computer?
A.No. Such a condition would modify Rule 6-6b.
However, while it is not permissible to penalize a player under the Rules of Golf for failing to enter his score into a computer, a Committee may, in order to assist in the administration of the competition, introduce a "club regulation" to this effect and provide disciplinary sanctions (e.g., ineligibility to play in the next club competition(s)) for failure to act in accordance with the regulation.
• 6-6a/6 Requirement That Alteration on Score Card Be Initialled.
• 33-1/7 Making Competitors Responsible for Adding Scores.
Other Decisions related to Rule 6-6b: See "Scores and Score Cards" in the Index.
ALTERATION OF SCORE CARD
When Score Card Considered Returned
Q.Rule 6-6c prohibits alterations to the score card "after the competitor has returned it to the Committee." When is a score card considered returned?
A.This is a matter for the Committee to decide and it will vary depending on the nature of the competition. The Committee should designate a "scoring area" where competitors are to return their score cards (e.g., in a tent, a trailer, the golf shop, by the scoreboard, etc.). When it has done so, Rule 6-6c should be interpreted in such a way that a competitor within the "scoring area" is considered to be in the process of returning his score card. Alterations may be made on the score card even if the competitor has handed the score card to a member of the Committee. He is considered to have returned his score card when he has left the scoring area.
Alternatively, the Committee may require a competitor to return his score card by placing it in a box and thus consider it returned when it is dropped into the box, even if he has not left the scoring area.
Other Decisions related to Rule 6-6c: See "Scores and Score Cards: alteration to score card" in the Index.
WRONG SCORE FOR HOLE
No Score Entered for One Hole But Total Correct
Q.In stroke play, A returned his score card. The Committee discovered that no score had been entered for the 17th hole; however, A's total score for the round as recorded on the card by A or his marker was correct. What is the ruling?
A.A should be disqualified for a breach of Rule 6-6d.
• 31-3/1 Gross Score of Partner with Better Net Score Omitted from Card.
Total Score Recorded by Competitor Incorrect
Q.In stroke play, a competitor returns his score card to the Committee. The hole-by-hole scores are correct, but the competitor records a total score which is one stroke lower than his actual total score. Is the competitor subject to penalty?
A.No. The competitor is responsible only for the correctness of the score recorded for each hole (Rule 6-6d). The Committee is responsible for the addition of scores (Rule 33-5). If the competitor records a wrong total score, the Committee must correct the error, without penalty to the competitor.
Hole Scores for First Nine Holes Recorded in Boxes for Second Nine and Vice Versa
Q.A competitor who started at the 10th hole returns a card with scores for the first nine holes recorded in the boxes for the second nine holes, and vice versa. Should he be disqualified since the scores for some holes were lower than actually taken?
• 6-6a/3 Hole Scores Entered in Wrong Boxes; Marker Corrects Error by Altering Hole Numbers on Card.
Competitor's Scores Recorded on Score Card with Fellow-Competitor's Name and Vice Versa
Q.A and B are playing together in stroke play. A is B's marker and B is A's marker. A score card is distributed to each player by the starter. When the score cards are returned, the score card with A's name printed on it contains the correct scores of B and vice versa. Each score card contains the signature of the competitor whose scores are recorded together with the signature of his marker.
The mismatch of the competitors' printed names with the reported scores is discovered after the score cards are returned. What is the ruling?
A.Assuming that each competitor himself has signed the score card on which his scores were recorded and that his marker has also signed this score card, the Committee should strike the name printed on the score card, enter the name of the competitor whose scores are recorded on the score card and accept the score card without penalty to either player. Administrative errors of this specific nature are not contemplated by the Rules and the Committee should correct such an error. There is no time limit for correcting such an administrative error. Rule 6-6b implies that the competitor is responsible only for the correctness of the scores recorded for each hole, ensuring that the marker has signed the score card and that the competitor has signed the score card himself.
The same principle would also apply in the case of a score card returned without a name recorded on it.
Spectators Allege Competitor's Score Incorrect
Q.All strokes played by A at the 18th hole were observed by spectators, but when the card was returned the recorded score for that hole was lower than that which the spectators alleged had been taken. What should the Committee do?
A.If any doubt arises as to the correctness of a card, the Committee should consult with the competitor and marker and also take into account the testimony of other witnesses.
If the evidence indicates that the recorded score for the 18th hole was lower than actually taken, the Committee should disqualify A (Rule 6-6d). Otherwise, no penalty should be applied.
• 6-6a/4 Marker Refuses to Sign Competitor's Card After Dispute Resolved in Favor of Competitor.
• 34-3/4 Dispute as to Whether Competitor Played from Outside Teeing Ground.
• 34-3/9 Resolution of Questions of Fact; Referee and Committee Responsibility.
Other Decisions related to Rule 6-6d: See "Scores and Score Cards" in the Index.
Player Returns to Tee to Retrieve Forgotten Club
Q.A player arrives at a green and discovers that he has left his putter at the tee. He returns to the tee to retrieve the putter. If this delays play, is the player subject to penalty?
A.Yes. Rule 6-7 (Undue Delay) and not Rule 6-8a (Discontinuance of Play) applies in this case.
Searching Ten Minutes for Lost Ball
Q.If a player searches for a lost ball for ten minutes, is he subject to penalty under Rule 6-7 for undue delay?
Other Decisions related to Rule 6-7: See "Undue Delay" in the Index.
DISCONTINUANCE OF PLAY: WHEN PERMITTED
Watching Television for 45 Minutes After Nine Holes
Q.In stroke play, a group went into the clubhouse after nine holes and watched the final round of a golf tournament on television for 45 minutes. Then the group resumed play. Should the members of the group be penalized under Rule 6-7 (Undue Delay) or Rule 6-8 (Discontinuance of Play)?
A.The competitors should be disqualified under Rule 6-8a.
Taking Shelter While Waiting to Play
Q.In stroke play, a group preparing to start a hole is waiting for the group ahead to get out of range. May the group take shelter from the rain in a rain shelter close to the tee?
A.Yes, but the group must leave the shelter and resume play as soon as the group in front is out of range.
Discontinuing Play for Refreshment
The Committee may not permit players to discontinue play for refreshment for an extended period during a stipulated round. Such a condition would modify Rule 6-8a.
The Committee may, however, in the conditions of a competition, permit players to discontinue play for a short period of time (e.g., up to five minutes), if it considers there to be good reason (e.g., a danger of dehydration or heat exhaustion in hot climates or a need to warm up in cold climates).
However, since the Rules make specific provision for players to play without undue delay (Rule 6-7) and continuously (Rule 6-8a), such a condition is not recommended.
Entering Clubhouse or Half-Way House for Refreshment During Round
Q.May a player, between the play of two holes, enter the clubhouse or a "half-way house" to obtain a refreshment if he then proceeds immediately to the next tee and consumes the food and/or drink while continuing his round?
A.Yes. A player may enter the clubhouse or a half-way house without penalty (see Note to Rule 6-8a).
However, the player must not unduly delay either his own play or that of his opponent or any other competitor (Rule 6-7).
Discontinuing Play Due to Physical Problem
Q.During a round, a player is incapacitated by heat exhaustion, a bee sting or because he has been struck by a golf ball. The player reports his problem to the Committee and requests the Committee to allow him some time to recuperate. Should the Committee comply with the request?
A.The matter is up to the Committee. Rule 6-8a(iv) permits a player to discontinue play because of sudden illness and the player incurs no penalty if he reports to the Committee as soon as practicable and the Committee considers his reason satisfactory. It would seem reasonable for a Committee to allow a player 10 or 15 minutes to recuperate from such a physical problem but ordinarily allowing more time than that would be inadvisable.
• 6-3a/1 Postponement of Final Match Due to Injury of Player.
Discontinuing Play Due to Inoperable Motorized Cart
Q.In stroke play, two competitors are sharing a motorized golf cart. During the round the cart becomes inoperable. The competitors discontinue play and return to the clubhouse to obtain another cart. Should the competitors be penalized for discontinuing play?
A.If the competitors reported to the Committee as soon as practicable after discontinuing play (as required by Rule 6-8a), it is recommended that, since it may not always be reasonable to expect players to carry their own bags, the Committee may consider the reason for discontinuance satisfactory, in which case there would be no penalty provided the competitors resume play when directed to do so by the Committee.
Match Discontinued by Agreement Due to Rain; One Player Subsequently Wishes to Resume; Opponent Refuses Although Course Playable
Q.In accordance with the Exception under Rule 6-8a, A and B discontinue a match due to rain. Subsequently, although the rain continues to fall, A wishes to resume play. B refuses because he does not want to play in the rain, not because he considers the course unplayable. What is the ruling?
A.B is disqualified (Rule 6-8a). The Exception to Rule 6-8a permits discontinuance of a match by mutual agreement. However, when A decided that he wanted to resume play, there was no longer an agreement and B was obliged to resume play.
Match Discontinued by Agreement Due to Rain; One Player Subsequently Wishes to Resume; Opponent Refuses on Ground Course Unplayable
Q.In accordance with the Exception under Rule 6-8a, A and B discontinue a match due to rain. Subsequently, A wishes to resume play. B refuses on the ground that the course is unplayable. What is the ruling?
A.B is entitled to refer the dispute to a member of the Committee if one is available within a reasonable time. If a member of the Committee is not available within a reasonable time, B is obliged to continue the match without delay – Rule 2-5. If B does not do so, he is disqualified under Rule 6-8a, which allows a player to discontinue play for a decision on a disputed point, but only within the limits prescribed in Rule 2-5.
However, before continuing the match B is entitled to make a claim that the course is unplayable – Rule 2-5. If B does so, (a) the match should be resumed at the spot at which it was discontinued if the Committee subsequently upholds B's claim, or (b) the match should stand as played if the Committee subsequently rejects B's claim.
Other Decisions related to Rule 6-8a: See "Discontinuance and Resumption of Play" in the Index.
SUSPENSION OF PLAY: PROCEDURE
Competitors Playing Hole When Play Suspended Discontinue Play Immediately But Then Complete Hole Before Committee Orders Resumption of Play
Q.In stroke play, a group was playing a hole when it was announced that play was suspended. The group discontinued play for 10 to 15 minutes and then decided to complete the hole, even though the Committee had not yet announced resumption of play. Is this permissible?
A.No. Competitors playing a hole when play is suspended may only continue play of that hole if they do so without delay (Rule 6-8b). The group in question was in breach of Rule 6-8b. The penalty is disqualification.
Options If Play Suspended After One Competitor in Group Has Played from Tee
Q.In stroke play, A plays a stroke from the teeing ground and the competition is at that point suspended. May B, A's fellow-competitor, also play from the teeing ground, even though play has been suspended?
A.Yes. When A played from the teeing ground, play had commenced for that hole and thus A and B may continue play of the hole provided they do so without delay and then discontinue play either before or immediately after completing it.
Completion of Hole by One Competitor in Group After Play Suspended During Play of Hole
Q.In stroke play, A plays a stroke from the teeing ground and play is at that point suspended. B, A's marker and fellow-competitor, decides not to play the hole until play is officially resumed. May A play alone and complete the hole?
A.Yes, provided B accompanies A until the hole is completed. Otherwise, A would have no marker for the hole and thus would not have an acceptable score for the round.
Player Plays Out of Turn in Match Play After Play Suspended by Committee and After Opponent Discontinues Play
Q.In match play, A and B are opponents. They are in the process of playing a hole when play is suspended by the Committee due to darkness. A states that he does not wish to continue, but B wants to complete the hole being played. What is the ruling?
A.Although Rule 6-8b suggests that one of the players in the match may complete the hole (see analogous Decision 6-8b/3), the Rules contemplate that opponents will play together and have the opportunity to observe each other's play.
Therefore, when A states that he does not wish to continue the match after play has been suspended by the Committee, the players must discontinue play.
When play is discontinued in this manner, if either player continues play, Rule 6-8b prescribes a penalty of disqualification. However, in the exceptional circumstances described, if B were to continue play of the hole, a penalty of disqualification would be too severe. Accordingly, the Committee should modify the disqualification penalty to loss of the hole concerned (Rule 33-7).
Player Unable to Resume Suspended Match at Scheduled Time
Q.During a match-play competition, the course becomes unplayable and play is suspended. The Committee announces that the suspended matches will be completed the next day. One player states that he is unable to play the next day. What is the ruling?
A.The player is disqualified under Rule 6-8b.
• 2-4/20 Player Unable to Meet Match-Play Schedule Defaults; Schedule Then Changed and Player Requests Reinstatement.
Player Claiming Danger from Lightning Refuses to Resume Play When Resumption Ordered by Committee
Q.In a stroke-play competition, the Committee, after having suspended play because of lightning, orders play to be resumed. Must a player resume play if he considers that there is still danger from lightning?
A.Rule 6-8a authorizes a player to discontinue play if he considers that there is danger from lightning. This is one of the rare occasions on which the player is virtually the final judge. The safety of players is paramount, especially as there is a common natural fear of lightning. Committees should not risk exposing players to danger.
However, if the Committee has used all reasonable means to ascertain the weather prospects and has concluded that no danger from lightning exists, it has the power to order resumption of play and to disqualify under Rule 6-8b any player who refuses to comply.
• 6-8b/8 Player Drops Ball After Play Suspended for Dangerous Situation.
• 30-3e/1 Partners Fail to Discontinue Play Immediately Contrary to Condition of Competition.
• 33-2d/3 Competitor Refuses to Start or Picks Up Because of Weather Conditions; Round Subsequently Canceled.
Play Suspended by Committee; Competitor Does Not Resume Play at Time Ordered by Committee
Q.In stroke play, the Committee suspends play. Subsequently, the Committee advises all competitors that a siren will signify resumption of play at a specified time.
A competitor in one group resumed play about two minutes before the siren sounded, because he saw a group of competitors walking down an adjacent fairway. Should the competitor be disqualified under Rule 6-8b?
A.No. Due to the exceptional nature of resumption of play, such minor errors are inevitable, and a penalty of disqualification is too severe. Accordingly, if the Committee has ordered a resumption of play and a competitor is no more than five minutes late (or five minutes early) in resuming play, the Committee would be justified in modifying the disqualification penalty to two strokes or, if circumstances warrant, waiving it entirely under Rule 33-7.
In this case, modifying the penalty to two strokes would be appropriate.
• 6-3a/5 Players Start Early.
Condition Requiring Immediate Discontinuance of Play; Guidelines for Waiving or Modifying Disqualification Penalty for Failure to Discontinue Play Immediately
Q.It is a condition of the competition (Note under Rule 6-8b) that players must discontinue play immediately following a suspension of play by the Committee in a potentially dangerous situation. In what circumstances should the Committee consider waiving or modifying the disqualification penalty under Rule 33-7?
A.The intent of the condition is to enable the course to be cleared as quickly as possible when a potentially dangerous situation, such as lightning, exists. A player who breaches this condition may place others at serious risk by creating the impression that no danger exists. Therefore, it is generally recommended that the penalty of disqualification should not be waived or modified and that any doubt on this matter should be resolved against the player.
However, if a player plays a stroke after play has been suspended by the sounding of a siren, the Committee must consider all of the relevant facts in determining if the player should be disqualified or if the penalty should be waived or modified.
The following are examples of Committee decisions that are justified in light of the circumstances:
After the siren has sounded
- (a) a player finishes assessing his shot, selects a club and plays his stroke, taking approximately 30 seconds to do so – disqualification.
- (b) a player approaches the ball and taps in a short putt, all within a few seconds – disqualification.
- (c) a player, having addressed the ball, steps away momentarily, addresses the ball again and then completes his stroke within a few seconds – disqualification.
- (d) a player, having addressed the ball, completes his stroke without hesitation – no penalty.
Player Drops Ball After Play Suspended for Dangerous Situation
Q.It is a condition of the competition (Note under Rule 6-8b) that players must discontinue play immediately following a suspension of play by the Committee in a potentially dangerous situation. After such a suspension is signalled by the Committee, may a player proceed under a Rule by dropping a ball or determining an appropriate reference point, e.g., the nearest point of relief?
A.In view of the purpose of this type of suspension of play, it is recommended that all players take shelter immediately without taking such further actions. However, discontinuing play in the context of this condition means making no further strokes and, therefore, there is no penalty for taking actions such as those described.
• 6-8b/5 Player Claiming Danger from Lightning Refuses to Resume Play When Resumption Ordered by Committee.
• 30-3e/1 Partners Fail to Discontinue Play Immediately Contrary to Condition of Competition.
• 33-2d/3 Competitor Refuses to Start or Picks Up Because of Weather Conditions; Round Subsequently Canceled.
Resumption of Play; When Players Must Be Present
Q.In a stroke-play competition, A, B and C are fellow-competitors. When the group is on the 3rd fairway, the Committee suspends play. The group elects to complete play of the 3rd hole. The Committee schedules the resumption of play for 8 am on the following day and the group will be the third group to play from the 4th tee when play is resumed. When is the group required to be at the 4th tee?
A.The group must be present at the 4th tee and ready to play when it becomes possible for the group to play. Any player not present at that time is disqualified under Rule 6-8b.
• 6-3a/2 Time of Starting; All Competitors Must Be Present.
Other Decisions related to Rule 6-8b: See "Discontinuance and Resumption of Play" in Index.
LIFTING BALL WHEN PLAY DISCONTINUED
Explanation of "Good Reason to Lift"
When play has been suspended by the Committee under Rule 6-8a(i) and a player discontinues play of a hole, he is entitled to lift his ball without penalty. If a player discontinues play of a hole under Rule 6-8a(ii), (iii) or (iv) he is not entitled to lift his ball unless there is a "good reason" to lift it (Rule 6-8c). It is a matter for the Committee to decide in each case whether a "good reason" exists.
Generally, the ball should not be lifted unless the player is required to leave the area where his ball is located and it is likely that the ball may be moved or taken by an outside agency in his absence.
If the player lifts his ball without a "good reason" to do so, the player is penalized one stroke under Rule 6-8c, unless he was proceeding under another Rule which entitled him to lift the ball, such as Rule 16-1b.
PROCEDURE WHEN PLAY RESUMED
Resuming Play from Where It Was Discontinued; Lie Altered by Natural Causes
Q.Rule 6-8d states that following a discontinuance of play under Rule 6-8d, play must be resumed "from where it was discontinued" and a ball must be placed on the spot where it lay prior to the discontinuance. Does this requirement mean the player is always entitled to the lie he had prior to discontinuance?
A.No. The original lie or the conditions around the ball may be altered through natural causes (e.g., wind, rain and water) and the player must accept those conditions, whether they worsen or improve the lie of the ball, area of intended stance or swing or the line of play.
Lie in Bunker Altered Prior to Resumption of Play
Q.After play is suspended by the Committee, a player marks the position of and lifts his ball from a bunker as permitted by Rule 6-8c. When play is resumed and the ball is to be replaced, what is the correct procedure given that the lie of the ball may have been altered by the greenkeeping staff?
A.If the bunker has been prepared by the greenkeeping staff, regardless of whether the ball-marker has been moved, the original lie must be re-created as nearly as possible and a ball must be placed in that lie (Rule 20-3b). The obligation to re-create the original lie is limited to what is practical in the circumstances. For example, a buried lie or footprints around the ball must be re-created whereas the player is not required to replace loose impediments or restore conditions such as washed out areas or casual water that have been eliminated by the greenkeeping staff or have changed naturally.
However, if the bunker has not been prepared by the greenkeeping staff, the player is not necessarily entitled to the lie he had prior to the discontinuance of play (see Decision 6-8d/1). The player must place a ball on the spot from which the original ball was lifted (Rule 6-8d). If the ball-marker is missing when play is resumed (e.g., moved by wind or water), and the spot where the ball is to be placed is impossible to determine, it must be estimated and the ball placed on the estimated spot – see Note to Rule 6-8d(iii) and Exception to Rule 20-3c.
• 20-3b/5 Lie of Ball in Rough Altered by Outside Agency; Original Lie of Ball Not Known and Spot Where Ball Lay Not Determinable.
• 20-3b/6 Lie of Ball in Bunker Altered; Original Lie of Ball Known but Spot Where Ball Lay Not Determinable.
Player Who Drops Ball Immediately After Committee Has Ordered Resumption of Play Subsequently Lifts Ball Under Rule 6-8d(ii)
Q.A player's ball lies on an immovable obstruction when play is suspended by the Committee. After the Committee orders a resumption of play and before the player makes a stroke, he takes relief from the obstruction under Rule 24-2b. Prior to playing the dropped ball, may he lift it under Rule 6-8d(ii) and either clean and replace the ball or substitute another ball?
A.Yes. When the player discontinued play under Rule 6-8a, he was entitled to lift his ball without penalty under Rule 6-8c. When he resumed play under Rule 6-8d, he was entitled to follow the provisions of that Rule, despite the fact that he initially proceeded under Rule 24-2b after the Committee ordered a resumption of play. Resuming play in the context of Rule 6-8d means making a stroke and, therefore, Rule 6-8d(ii) applies to the player's situation. It is not the intent of the Rules to limit the player's options under Rule 6-8d(ii) simply because he did not take relief until the Committee ordered a resumption of play (see analogous Decision 6-8b/8).
Ball Visible from Tee Disappears While Play Suspended
Q.A player's tee shot came to rest and was visible from the tee by all players in the match or group. At that point play was suspended. The player took cover and did not lift the ball. When play was resumed, the player's ball was missing or was found some distance from where it was seen to come to rest. What is the procedure?
A.As the player's ball was moved while play was suspended, the player must place a ball on the spot from which his ball was moved, without penalty (Rule 6-8d(iii)). If this spot is not determinable, it must be estimated and a ball placed on the estimated spot – see Note to Rule 6-8d(iii) and the Exception to Rule 20-3c.
• 18-2a/25 Ball Moved Accidentally by Player During Suspension of Play.
Ball in Bad Lie in Rough Moved by Outside Agency During Suspension of Play; Player Fails to Estimate Position Sufficiently
Q.A player finds his ball in deep rough and the ball is barely visible. Before the player makes a stroke, the Committee suspends play, and the player discontinues play immediately without lifting his ball. During the suspension of play, an outside agency moves the player's ball. The player is made aware of the outside agency's actions and, on the resumption of play, the player estimates the spot where the ball originally lay and places a ball on that spot. However, the ball is placed on top of the grass in a much better lie than prior to the suspension of play. What is the ruling?
A.The Note to Rule 6-8d requires the player to estimate the spot where the ball is to be placed and to place the ball on the estimated spot. If the player places his ball in a lie that is significantly different from the original lie, the player has not estimated the position of the ball with sufficient accuracy. By placing the ball on top of the grass, the player placed the ball in the wrong place. If he makes a stroke from that spot without first correcting his error under Rule 20-6, he would be subject to penalty under Rule 20-7 for playing from a wrong place.
Other Decisions related to Rule 6-8d: See "Discontinuance and Resumption of Play" in the Index.